A Romance Obsession
Today’s guest post comes from author Kirsten S. Blacketer.
Kirsten is a multi-published indie author of both steamy historical and contemporary romance. When she’s not writing, she homeschools her two children and enjoys time with her family. In those moments of freedom, she devours romance novels while sipping a glass of wine. Age has only shown her that writing villains can be just as fun as heroes. Her next life goals are to write a New York Times Bestseller and one day have Adam Driver play a starring role in a film version of one of her books. A girl can dream, right?
As an author, I’m often asked why I chose to write romance. And I laugh. Why? Because I didn’t choose the genre, it chose me.
Romance is in my blood. It has been since I was a kid. I was obsessed with love stories. When I discovered my grandmother’s stash of romance novels, it only intensified my love of all things romance. With that blossoming awareness came a desire to write my own romance novels, and thus my journey began.
Granted, I was horrible in the beginning. My characters were two dimensional and my conflict nonexistent while following a meandering, aimless plot. But my description was on point. I had a long way to go. So I read endless amounts of romance novels to get a feel for what I needed to create in my own words. Then I realized something important.
Romance is the only genre that guarantees a happy ending, or at least an emotionally satisfying one. The hero doesn’t die. They don’t break up and go their separate ways. No, they end up together. Content. Happy. Orgasmically so. No other genre can give me that guarantee. Not a single one.
Personally, I need that promise. Life is so full of uncertainties and disappointments. I crave respite in the one place where I know no matter how bad things get in the story, there will be a satisfactory resolution. The couple will be happy together.
This reinforced my love of romance. Not just of love stories in general, but of the romance genre as a whole. You can find love stories anywhere in literature no matter the genre. But none can deliver the satisfaction of a well-written romance novel. After such torment, those characters deserve their happily ever after, or at least a happily for now.
My foray into writing this genre began with historical romance. I started with medieval, and like a mad scientist with a time machine, I branched out into other eras. American Prohibition, Late Victorian, Victorian Steampunk, until I found myself in the present. Contemporary romance seduced me with it’s complex simplicity. It’s ability to encapsulate the modern emotions with colorful metaphors (swearing) and showcase our current struggles with humor and grace.
I had found my voice. My calling. My purpose. But why do I say the genre chose me?
While the ideas for each story take shape in my mind, they came into being of their own accord. A seed was planted in my mind for a character or a scene, and it blossomed into something with potential. That potential rooted itself in my brain and demanded I transcribe it.
Even now as I work on one project, a secondary character will whisper in my ear. He’ll tell me about his past, his desires…he’ll beg me to tell his story. How can I ignore him? Or her? Each character I create takes on a life of their own with their complex desires and intricate backstories. I would be a fool to let such bounty go to waste. So I make notes, create an outline, and set it aside for later.
Now I sit with a dozen stories in my queue, each with their allotted time scribbled on the writing schedule. If I don’t do this, I’ll get overwhelmed and burned out. Over the years, I’ve learned what I can realistically handle. It’s helped me remain focused on the task at hand and keep a steady flow of output. I’ve found a method that works for me, and I love it.
My obsession with romance spans two decades, and I see no sign of it diminishing any time soon. As long as the ideas keep coming to me, I’ll keep writing them. I may never make the bestseller’s lists or have my film turned into a major motion picture, but if my love stories have touched even one person’s life, then I count it as a roaring success.
Community is important to me. Having a group of readers who love romance as much as I do and enjoy discussing the wonders the genre has to offer gives me a sense of comradery and peace. One of my goals this year is to forge and expand my network of both romance readers and writers. I love discussing and brainstorming, getting inspiration and encouragement. Also, they give me the most amazing romance novel recommendations!
Yes, I’m a romance addict. It’s part of me, and I embrace it whole heartedly. Even my characters would agree I’m a hopeless romantic, and I’m one hundred percent okay with this.
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